As music-related VR sets sail, four very important publishing groups are on board.
At this early stage, music-related VR is mostly about unknowns.
For starters, it’s nearly impossible to predict how this format will emerge and interact with existing music platforms and experiences. And if it does emerge into something substantive, what will be the licensing rules around virtual reality performances and plays?
Maybe it’s time to start figuring this stuff out. Now, MelodyVR has inked licensing partnerships with four major entities: UMPI (a unit of Universal Music Publishing Group), ASCAP, BMI, and SACEM.
The latter three are focused on publishing performance rights, with ASCAP and BMI representing a lion’s share of US-based titles. SACEM plays a similar role in France, while Universal Music Publishing Group is easily one of the largest publishing catalogs in the world.
Exactly what’s inside those deals is unclear. But given the fast-emerging VR sector, it’s likely that terms can be re-arranged in subsequent re-ups.
MelodyVR CEO Anthony Matchett says the deals make his company ‘the world’s only licensed VR music platform’.
“As MelodyVR continues to expand, these four music licensing deals enhance our opportunities for content creation and distribution on a global basis,” Matchett relayed.
The deals offer a lot of momentum ahead of MelodyVR’s upcoming Oculus integration. The company recently announced that its dedicated concerts app will be upgraded for Facebook’s upcoming Oculus VR headset release. That update is reportedly being subsidized by Facebook itself, a well-positioned wealthy uncle for MelodyVR.
But these aren’t MelodyVR’s only major licensing pacts. Roughly two years ago, the company finalized deals with Warner/Chappell Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group (parent of UMPG/UMPI), and Roc Nation. Earlier this year, the company inked a partnership with Kobalt-owned AWAL.
And there’s plenty of cash to fund the licensing expansions. Just two years ago, the company announced a hefty $19 million round, which was followed by heftier $30 million infusion. To date, the company has raised over $70 million.
The company’s VR concert archives include performances from Liam Payne, Post Malone, The Chainsmokers, Bebe Rexha, and the London Symphony Orchestra.